City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

Open Space and Median Drought Response Plan Implemented to Improve City Landscapes
Jane Grobaty
Community Information Officer
Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine

The City has begun implementing its plan to address the lack of water for landscaping at City parks and street medians caused by this year’s rain shortfall. The Departments of Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) and Public Works are using reclaimed water and have activated a mobile watering truck to reverse landscape browning due to the drought.

“We are implementing necessary irrigation procedures to help green our park areas,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Also, the mobile watering truck helps us restore the health of our street median trees by irrigating them with reclaimed water during these difficult drought conditions.”

In Long Beach, the rainy season has, historically, been November to February. By late February of this year, PRM staff observed a historic low-level rainfall of only two inches instead of the average 13 inches of rain. It was determined that with such low-level rainfall, the City’s water supply for watering landscapes could not be sustained through the summer without increased resources. City staff repurposed budgeted resources to allow for more water for irrigation, so that City parks and landscaped assets are protected, and the public, residents and visitors, have the opportunity to continue to enjoy them throughout the summer months.

The City has increased the amount of start times to the irrigation controllers, and lowered the duration of time so that the soil can absorb the additional allotment. Due to the soil becoming extremely dry over the time of the drought, and the soil compacting, this method ensures City parks are benefiting from 100 percent of water invested in landscaping, and avoids wasteful water run-off.

“The City values good landscape at our parks and on our streets,” said Director of Parks, Recreation and Marine Gerardo Mouet. “We want to be ready to serve the thousands of residents who enjoy our parks. We look forward to seeing the community at our “100 days of summer” events including extended supervised recreation program hours and free movies and concerts.”

The mobile watering truck completes citywide routes over four days each week in an effort to get much needed water to the trees on the City’s landscaped street medians, utilizing 100 percent reclaimed water. This process has been part of the City’s irrigation program since 2015 when Governor Brown issued an Executive Order directing the State Water Board to impose restrictions on urban water suppliers and eliminated potable watering of turf medians.

About the City of Long Beach

Home to approximately 480,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 170 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.

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About Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine

Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Department (PRM) is recognized for excellence in management practices and programs, having received the National Parks and Recreation Association Gold Medal Award four times. PRM provides leisure programs and services to residents and visitors, which improve quality of life in Long Beach. PRM maintains 171 parks with 26 community centers, 320 acres of open space, and 6.1 miles of beaches; implements the City's Open Space Plan, provides recreational opportunities to meet diverse community needs, maintains public marinas, and provides for public safety and the humane treatment of animals.

For more information about Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine programs and services, visit Please “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LongBeachParks.